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Archive for December, 2007

2007 Recap

December 29th, 2007 at 12:30 pm

Well, it has been a great year, and we hope to have an even better year in 2008.
Iíve been blogging for almost a year now. One of the best things I did this year was to put my goals in my blog where I got to see it almost every day. I didnít quite achieve all my goals; however, I was aiming really high.

What have we achieved this year?

Credit Card debt Ė we managed to pay off more than 2/3rd of our CC debt. We could pay it all off now but choose not to. For us it makes more sense to put the money in the mortgage redraw account instead because of its higher interest rate. Will most likely get rid of it by the end of 2008 (maybe?).

Personal Loan and Retirement Ė The personal loan was paid off half way through the year. We used to pay $40 a week for this loan. We now used half of that amount to fund my retirement account, which the Australian government match it by 150%. Unfortunately, they only match up to $1K, thatís why I only put $40 every two weeks.

Emergency Fund Ė Sad to say that we only achieved 65% of this goal but might still have a bit of money to put in at the end of this month. I guess this wasnít high in our priority list mainly because the saving in the redraw account of our mortgage can also be thought of as our EF but I really donít want to think of this way. I really donít want to touch that money unless we really really really have to. Iíve decided next year Iím going to set up a regular deposit into this account, plus any extra money I could find until it is fully funded.

Long Term Saving (Redraw Account) Ė Itís looking like that after this month we should have almost $14K into this account (although I will probably take some money out to put in the medical fund and other slush funds that need extra funding). So overall, we should have at least $13K into this account, which means we more than double my saving goal! We should be able to double this amount next year because DH will be receiving a big bonus and a severance payment after the work his working now finishes. The great thing is he already has a new job line up.

Car Fund Ė Although we more than achieved the goal, I would have really like to have a bit more in there to start saving for our next car. Also, our car insurance should be due next month (havenít received the bill yet but I think it will be coming soon), which means this fund will be deflated even further. I think next year I will have a separate account for the car registration and car insurance as the Car Fund (for repairs and money towards the new car).

Holiday Fund Ė we are 20% over the budget but no regret what so ever. Next year will be more than this year we are already planning a nice couple of holidays. We will have to budget $5-$6K for it, I think. Of course, will try to spend less than that.

Christmas Fund Ė although was not fully funded we managed to have a great Christmas without going over the budget.
Investments Ė this went beyond my expectation, I really didnít think we would have been able to achieve this one but somehow it did. This amount is not even including interests and/or dividends that we received.

Overall, this year our Net Worth surpassed the $100K mark.

DH Tax refund and EF

December 27th, 2007 at 10:23 am

Just cash in DH 2005 tax refund today, as promised I will put some of it to the EF. But decided to only put $300 (instead of $500 as I initially wanted) and put the $200 towards a medical expense that is schedule for some time in the next two months. I've already set up a Fund for it last month and already got $250, so this would make it $450 (about half way there). I might even put more money in it at the end of this month, depends how much saving we have at the end of this month.

Christmas Total and other random talk

December 26th, 2007 at 05:47 am

Well, we managed to stay under budget. We still got just over $21 left in the Xmas fund. Smile
I think I will use the left over for NY eve celebration. Our christmas was good, ate too much as per usual. Spent most of it buying great gifts. Just love giving gifts. It's great to have money set a side for this kind of occassions, no stress at all. We will be doing it again next year. I'm thinking of putting $70 p/month for it.

I'm still tinkering with my spending plan for next year, pretty much done. I'm getting really excited about next year, we will be focusing more on investing and saving. There will be quiet a bit of money coming in around early next year.

We are about to open 2 managed funds (maybe be 2?), domestic and international. Pretty much decided which once ones we want to get, we already got the money set aside for it (from the company shares that we sold few months ago). We will then be putting $100 p/m for each funds. Hoping to keep these for at least 10years or more, maybe until retirement. We'll see.

Overall, our spending this year has been very good, way better than the previous years. But I would like to do even better next year. I've already told DH of an idea I got on lowering our expenses (it will be our personal challenge for 2008), he seems to be with me in this one. I am in the process of putting together a plan to achieve this goal/challenge. And will blog about it once it's done. In my head it's achievable!

CNN money

December 25th, 2007 at 12:52 am

It has a link to the savingadvice forum.


December 13th, 2007 at 01:43 am

I'm still trying to do our 2008 budget. I'm using this year's actual figures to base my 2008 budget, although there will be some extra spending next year. Holiday expense most likely be higher and also thinking of doing some house repairs next year. Dental/Med/Personal expense will defintely be higher also.

Another thing that will be happening next year is some major changes in DH employment situation. There should be a bit more money coming in next year, which I can't wait.

Once I get all my budget done, DH and I will then look at it together to see if he got any other suggestions/input.

DH's Christmas Bonus

December 10th, 2007 at 12:20 pm

He will be getting some company shares, worth around $700+. That pushes us over the $5,000 mark, which means Goal #9 is now done.

Spending and potential savings

December 8th, 2007 at 11:33 pm

A lot has been happening here, financially, for the last week. This could be a long post, unless I get tired.

Firstly, we finally got our car converted from "petrol" to "LPG (gas)". It cost $2400 but it was only $400 out of pocket because we will be able to get a $2,000 rebate back from the federal government (which should take 2 weeks to get processed). We should be able to save around 40-60% on our fuel bill from now on. It was interesting to see the difference in prices. Last week before the conversion we filled up the car (although there was still some in the tank) and it cost us $72 whereas the cost to fill up the LPG tank for the first time was only $40, a saving of $32 (44% saving). DH thinks the saving should pay off the conversion in about 5-6 months time. We are planning to keep the car for another 7-10 years. I was thinking to keep budgeting the same amount for fuel per month and will just save up any saving towards the car fund (for repairs, rego, car insurance and for our next "new to us" car).

On another financial news, I counted my coins in my piggy banks and there are $135 that I can add to our xmas fund. In total we have $655. Already spent over $200, already bought turkey and bought about half of the gifts already. Only need to get some seafood (can't do that until the day or two before xmas)and already thought of what to get for the other gifts just needs to get them. Most of the gifts for the inlaws I just got online they live interstate so it was easier and cheaper.

It was spendy yesterday, I bought a lot of clothes, it was planned and did get a lot for my money. Spent $114.89 for 3 tops (work clothes), 2 jackets (work clothes), 1 top and bottom summer pj, and 5 pairs of sport socks.

Well thats it for me for now. Hopefully we will be able to stay under budget for xmas, I will update my total after christmas.


December 4th, 2007 at 04:50 am

It's that time of the month to update my sidebar numbers.

We managed to save 13% of Nov's income.
I've put a bit more money in the xmas Fund. I will also empty my piggy bank maybe next week, and that money will also go towards the xmas fund.

Last month of this year-long challenge, I can't believe we achieved so much. Budgeting does really help!